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State of family life

The headings are inspired by our failed house survey, where the surveyor explained that he usually orders his remarks ‘The Good, The Bad and the Ugly’, but in our case The Ugly was such a full category that he placed it right after The Good. And The Good was not that good either.

The Good

  • Evenings – bedtimes can take a long time if one of them gets hung up on finishing a task or just dawdles generally, but overall bedtime is good. No tantrums, no shenanigans, hardly any wake-ups in the early night.
  • Nights – hallelujah, they are both sleeping well and have been for about a month. It’s common right now for there to be one wake.
  • Potty-training – we think we’ve finally cracked the 3.5-yo and he has had three consecutive days of wearing pants only.
  • TV – We noticed the amount of television creeping up and hastily made up some rules. We only watch it on weekends. The older boy questions this rule but so far he has accepted ‘that’s just what we’ve decided’ as the reason Thomas the Tank Engine isn’t with us constantly.
  • Sugar – the boys have not got a sweet tooth as Cal the resident anti-sugar campaigner has never allowed juices, sweets, biscuits, etc. They have ‘special occasion’ sweet things on outings, birthdays and so on.

The Bad

  • The dummy – it’s very important to the little one. He’s almost two and we have two dummies left, all the other ones have gone where dummies go (?). If he loses the other two, bedtimes and night-time wakes will be a bit hairy. But buying more dummies also feels like a step in the wrong direction.
  • Hygiene – we don’t have a bath in the house which makes bathing two boys in a baby bath, which the older one is really too big for, a hassle. On weeknights we can’t fit it in after nursery, so they only get washed on the weekends! The big one doesn’t get so dirty, but the little one… eurgh. One of the things I look forward to the most in buying the house is having a real bath and putting them both in there together.
Walking at its best

The Ugly

  • Fighting – there’s a lot of the most annoying kind of fighting. The big one annoying the little one on purpose, the little one whacking the big one in retaliation, the big one wailing theatrically… Only one toy can be interesting to both of them at any time, and I keep repeating the same thing over and over again like an idiot. ‘Find something else’, ‘see if he will swap you’…
  • Walking – we don’t use the buggy much anymore, seeing as they can both walk. However, can is one thing and will is another, and every drop-off and pick-up is a coin toss between getting home in 10 minutes, no probs, or taking 45 minutes because they’re running in different directions, sitting on the ground, hiding, arguing about which way to go and sometimes being carried. Less stubborn parents would have just stuck to the buggy or put a harness on one of them, like a dog.

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